I suffer from chronic pain — a condition that has continually grown worse in the past seven years. And it sucks. It's not like having the flu — I'm not going to "feel better soon" no matter how much you hope. Honestly, whenever I hear those words, I want to kick a wall (but it would cause me to be immobile for a month). Don't get me wrong: I don't know anyone (well, maybe one) who says it to be inconsiderate. It's just a frustrating reminder of how people know little of the disease. And when I do meet someone who gets how it is, I want to jump 'em and hug 'em and spin 'em around in the air — but that would probably kill us both! So usually I just cry.
If there is only one source you read to educate yourself on how to emphasize with someone who suffers from chronic pain, let this be it: How to Understand Someone With Chronic Pain.
If you live with chronic pain (or care about someone who does), there are a few gems of advice over here: How to Live With Fibromyalgia or Other Chronic Pain. By the way, I don't have Fibromyalgia (at least that I'm aware of), but the symptoms are very similar.
I don't bring this up to make you feel bad or make you feel bad for me. Don't worry — this isn't going to become Pity Party on the Beach: Tales From the Unhappiest Hooker! Yet, in moving forward with what I share on my blog, I feel we'll all benefit from having a basic understanding of what makes me so bitchy, I mean, why it seems to take me forever to accomplish something — and why I go all bat-shit-crazy-happy when I finally do — because it's really freakin' hard to get much done when you're in debilitating pain.
But I do believe it's possible get a little something done every day — and what that is I hope to learn with my pain-less planning project. That''s why the Chronic Pain Self-Help Guide at Moodjuice is an invaluable resource for those living with pain (including those who live with someone in chronic pain) who especially want a better understanding of their activity levels and how to go about goal-setting. It also made me cry 'cause the guide gets it.
Planning my time-management around the pain to achieve my goals is majorly important because I want to start a new crafty business (one which requires learning new skills!). And I need to do things smart so there is less chance of pushing myself too hard, then losing days, if not weeks, because I hurt to0 bad (you can probably see now why I need to be self-employed). So for five days, I will be keeping track of how much time I spend on various activities and the degree of pain associated with them (any amount spent on Facebook hurts the most).
With chronic pain, there are way too many variables to determine anything for sure, but it might give me some idea of when to chill. Just like over the past couple of years I've determined four hours is the longest I can hangout at Disneyland/DCA. I've also learned that I will be fine for a few days after that — then get slammed with a flare-up from the burning depths of hell (♪ "Like fire, hellfire, this fire in my skin."♪).
There's a lot of information out there, but here are two sites that can quickly get you started on making sense of making the most of your time!
Find out more about pacing and setting goals while living in the vicious cycle of pain and fatigue (and how to assess and apply what you learn from keeping an Activity & Rest Diary), by clicking here.
At healthtalkonline.com, chronic pain sufferers share their personal stories of how they set goals, manage their pain with pacing, and deal with flare-ups.